A distinguished metropolis councilman and supporter of leading Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams on Wednesday accused major rivals Kathryn Garcia, Maya Wiley and Andrew Yang of exploiting the town’s new ranked-choice voting system to devalue the ballots of black and Latino New Yorkers.
Councilman I. Daneek Miller — a Queens Democrat who co-chairs the council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus — additionally bemoaned the “cumbersome process of waiting” for the ultimate outcomes, not slated to be launched till weeks after the first.
“Let me add my voice to the chorus of those disappointed that the candidate who consistently polled as having the largest share of black and Latino voters was attacked this weekend by a ranked-choice voting alliance of three candidates with the largest share of white voters,” mentioned Miller in an announcement, referring respectively to Adams and the trio of Garcia, Wiley and Yang.
“At best, it was bad optics of a coalition of candidates who purport to believe that ranked-choice voting might create a more inclusionary democracy.”
Adams, a former NYPD captain and the Brooklyn borough president, beforehand ripped former Department of Sanitation head Garcia and businessman-turned-pol Yang for jointly campaigning on Juneteenth.
“That last-minute attempt to derail me on June 19!” mentioned Adams, who’s black, on the time. “While we were celebrating liberation and freedom from enslavement, they sent a message, and I thought it was the wrong message.”
Adams had a major base largely concentrated in black and working-class neighborhoods, whereas Garcia and Yang, who’re respectively white and Asian, have been extra standard amongst white voters.
His criticism didn’t prolong to Wiley, who can also be black and didn’t collectively marketing campaign with another candidate.
The campaigns of Garcia, Wiley and Yang didn’t instantly reply to requests for touch upon Miller’s remarks.
Miller went on to criticize the lengthy wait New Yorkers are in for earlier than they discover out who truly received the first, through which Adams has a healthy lead primarily based on first-choice votes.
“For now, the cumbersome process of waiting for the results of a ranked-choice voting election has begun,” he mentioned. “The Board of Elections is telling us that we’re two weeks away from having a preliminary breakdown of last ranked voting outcomes, including to questions in regards to the software program being utilized to rely the ballots, having been accredited lower than a month previous to implementation.
“New Yorkers deserve a chance to weigh in on whether they find this acceptable, and if ranked-choice voting and the confusion it has spurred is eroding their confidence in our democracy.”
Ranked-choice voting was overwhelmingly approved by city voters in a 2019 referendum, and was used for the primary time on this 12 months’s major.
The Black, Latino and Asian Caucus beforehand pushed to delay the system’s implementation — and 6 councilmembers, together with Miller, went to court over the problem — however their efforts have been in useless.
Susan Lerner, of the good-government group Common Cause, mentioned that Miller’s considerations have been misplaced, noting that underneath the earlier system voters would nonetheless be ready weeks to know the Democratic mayoral candidate — simply with the added annoyance and price of a runoff election.
“If the system that Mr. Miller wants to continue to champion were in place, we wouldn’t have the results,” she mentioned. “We’d be ready two or three weeks for a runoff and it will price the taxpayers as much as $15 million only for the administration prices for that election.
“We have saved time and money with [ranked-choice voting].”
Lerner famous that the Board of Elections is compelled by state legislation to attend for absentee ballots to trickle in after major day, and to offer voters an opportunity to appropriate errors on their ballots.
“They’re bound by state law that says you have to wait seven days after the election to get all of the absentee ballots in,” she mentioned. “It’s state law that says you have to give any voter [whose ballot has a] curable mistake seven business days to cure that error and not be disenfranchised.”
“What is the board supposed to do there that they’re not doing?”
The BOE didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
Lerner additionally pushed again on Miller’s claims that the system allowed for minority votes to be diminished.
“As far as we can tell either anecdotally or with our survey results from the special election, there’s no basis in fact” for the accusation, she mentioned. “It’s simply some unfounded fears that are probably politically-driven.”